Speaking at the June 20 event held via videoconference, Ho affirmed that economic-trade-investment cooperation has always been a key pillar of the ASEAN-Japan partnership, and emphasized the need to expedite a process of comprehensive recovery and sustainable growth in the current difficult context.

At the event

He said ASEAN and Japan should assist each other in implementing cooperative programs and recovery initiatives, while coordinating policies to bolster trade and investment, stabilize supply chains and promote regional economic connectivity.

He suggested economic-trade-investment cooperation should be geared to contribute to efforts toward inclusive growth as well as even and sustainable development across the region and its sub-regions, including the Mekong sub-region.

The diplomat also highlighted the importance of ensuring peace, security and stability in the region, including sea areas such as the East Sea (South China Sea) and East China Sea.

He stated it is necessary to reaffirm ASEAN's principled stance on the East Sea; and the determination of the bloc and China to fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the waters (DOC) and successfully build a substantive, effective and efficient code of conduct (COC) in accordance with international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.

These will help build the East Sea into an area of peace, cooperation and development, he noted.

The meeting took note of the substantive progress made in ASEAN-Japan cooperation over the past one year in the four pillars of peace and stability, prosperity, quality of life, and heart-to-heart partnerships.

ASEAN welcomed Japan’s support for ASEAN Community building efforts, and in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, including Japan’s substantial contribution for the establishment of the ASEAN Center for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases Center.

ASEAN and Japan also underlined the need to enhance cooperation on peace and stability, trade and connectivity, health security, digital transformation, smart cities, environment protection, sustainable development and resilience, and people-to-people exchange.

Participating countries agreed that it is necessary to closely coordinate to ensure a peaceful, secure and stable environment in the region, including maritime security and safety in the East Sea.

Japan underscored its support for ASEAN's principled stance on the waters as well as the bloc’s role and efforts in promoting cooperation, dialogue, and trust building in the region and ensuring the full implementation of the DOC and building of the COC in line with international law, including the UNCLOS.

Japan also re-affirmed its support for ASEAN's role in promoting dialogue, reconciliation and help for Myanmar to seek solutions to stabilize its situation.

Source: VNA